How To Thin Rust-Oleum With Mineral Spirits

Rust-Oleum is a name that is trusted by DIY’ers when rust-proofing auto parts and other surfaces. This rust-preventive paint can be applied with a brush or roller as sold, but you should thin it if you’re using a spray gun. How should you thin Rust-Oleum with mineral spirits?

Mix one part of mineral spirits into 4 parts of Rust-Oleum for optimal results. You may want to use more or less solvent depending on the consistency you want. Most DIY’ers find that a 20% mineral spirits mixture works best for most projects.

This article will tell you how to thin Rust-Oleum paint with spirits for use on anything from automobiles to an overall DIY paint job.

How to Thin Rust-Oleum with Mineral Spirits

Thinning Rust-Oleum will ensure that you get a smooth finish and fast application with a paint spray gun. Thinning this rust-preventive paint down will also keep your expensive paint gun safe from clogs and other possible damage.

Here is a step-by-step guide to follow:

1. Get your materials ready

Before starting, check to see that you have all the necessary materials. You will need Rust-Oleum paint, mineral spirits, a spray gun, a stirring stick, a plastic container, a funnel, a measuring cup, protective gear, and rags.

spray gun

2. Gather protective gear

You should always put on protective gear when dealing with toxic solvents. Depending on how much ventilation your workspace has, put on rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a face mask or respirator.

3. Measure out the Rust-Oleum

Open your Rust-Oleum and stir it gently with a wooden stirrer to disperse the settled pigment. Then measure out the desired amount of Rust-Oleum and pour it into a plastic container.

4. Add mineral spirits to the Rust-Oleum

Measure out one part of mineral spirits to 4 parts of Rust-Oleum (20% thinning solvent) and pour it into the Rust-Oleum. Stir the mixture gently. If you feel that the paint is still too thick, you can add more solvent until you achieve the consistency that you want.

5. Load your spray gun

Now that your thinned Rust-Oleum is ready, you can load your spray gun and get to the fun part!

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Applying Your Rust-Oleum and Mineral Spirits Mix

Once you have your spray gun ready to go with thinned Rust-Oleum, ensure that you are working in a well-ventilated area. An outside area is always preferable because of this. If you must work in your garage or another room, open all windows to allow more airflow.

Rust-Oleum (the company) recommends that its products should be applied when the temperature is between 50 to 90°F (10-32°C) and humidity is below 65% for the best results.

Allow at least 2 hours for the paint to dry before applying a second coat.

Thinning Rust-Oleum with Mineral Spirits: Do You Have To?

You do not necessarily have to thin Rust-Oleum if you are going to apply it with a brush, a roller, or a spray can. However, using Rust-Oleum with a spray gun without thinning it can clog up your equipment, costing you dearly on possible repairs or at least precious time to unclog it.

You can also thin Rust-Oleum with acetone, xylene, or lacquer. Many DIY’ers prefer mineral spirits when thinning Rust-Oleum because of its fast evaporation rate.

Mineral Spirits with Rust-Oleum

Since Rust-Oleum is a rust-resistant paint that protects metal objects, mineral spirits are an excellent solvent to use with it. Both Rust-Oleum and mineral spirits are oil-based, which adds to their compatibility.

Mineral spirits are often used to effectively get rid of rust on metal parts.

When faced with just a bit of rust, DIY’ers might turn to homemade solutions such as baking soda or vinegar to get rid of it. More intense jobs require something more robust, and spirits are a suitable solvent in that situation.

You can submerge small metal parts in spirits and let them sit there to get stubborn rust off. If you are cleaning tools or other components with pieces of wood on them, take the wood off before putting the object in spirits to protect any varnish.

Use steel wool with spirits to scrub the rust off objects too large to submerge in this solvent.

Testing Your Rust-Oleum with Mineral Spirits Mix

If you are worried about the results you might get from your Rust-Oleum once you have mixed it with mineral spirits, you can test it first.

Choose a small and inconspicuous area on the object you are going to paint. Cover the surrounding space with tape. Apply paint to the small test area. Let the paint dry for a few hours. Finally, have a look. Apply a piece of tape to the painted test area and rip it off with a quick pull to see if the paint comes off.

This will help you get a feel for the paint consistency to decide whether you need to add more or less mineral spirits. You will also get to see how the whole project will turn out.

What If My Spray Gun Clogs Up?

Thinning Rust-Oleum with mineral spirits should ensure that your spray gun does not clog up, but what do you do if it still does?

You can overcome most spray gun clogs by cleaning the nozzle. You just have to take your spray gun apart and put the nozzle in mineral spirits to loosen any hardened paint. After a few minutes of being in the solvent, the problematic clog can be blown or pushed out.

A few things you can do to prevent spray gun clogs include cleaning your spray gun after every use and diluting Rust-Oleum or other oil-based paint with mineral spirits. Avoid using water to thin oil-based paint.

Conclusion – Rust-Oleum and Mineral Spirits

Using a spray gun with Rust-Oleum is fast and produces a smooth finish, but it is wise to thin your paint. Thick paint can lead your equipment to clog up. Mineral spirits are an ideal paint thinner for Rust-Oleum.